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Re: DI element [Re: html 5 and accessibility issue]

From: Thomas Broyer <t.broyer@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 23:56:48 +0200
Message-ID: <a9699fd20707011456n79f0eef8w6cf8b3fa2401070@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

2007/7/1, Andrew Ramsden:
>
> This may be off-topic for "html 5 and accessibility", but I agree with
> your assertion that a di element would clarify the semantic relationship
> between dt and dd elements.
>
> The specific use-case of dl that I see as ambiguous without a di element is:
> <dl>
>      <dt></dt>
>      <dt></dt>
>      <dd></dd>
> </dl>
>
> Does this represent a two terms (one without a definition), or a single
> term with two possible term variations?

HTML5 clearly defines it, and the second example in HTML4 is pretty
clear too. Also, having a term without definition would be has
"stupid" as having a definition without a term to be defined (DD as
the first child element of DL, without a preceding DT).

> The addition of a di element could explicitly clarify the two situations:
> <dl>
>      <di>
>          <dt></dt>
>      </di>
>      <di>
>          <dt></dt>
>          <dd></dd>
>      </di>
> </dl>
>
> or:
>
> <dl>
>      <di>
>          <dt></dt>
>          <dt></dt>
>          <dd></dd>
>      </di>
> </dl>
>
>
> It would also is backwards compatible with current HTML UAs (the added
> di elements don't affect the rendering of the content).
>
> I'd appreciate feedback about this suggestions.

First, this has already been discussed in the WHATWG list:
http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2005-March/003160.html

In short: you'd still have to support "legacy" (current) content, so
either you set up rules to reconstruct DI elements where both their
start and end tag are omitted (and you always have DI elements in the
DOM, much like with TBODY) or you have to deal with both content
models in scripts and/or stylesheets (using which rules?). Actually,
the latter would be required anyway until all browsers support HTML5
and the DI element, and even then you'd probably still need to support
XHTML 1.0 and 1.1 content where there's no DI elements.

In other words: given that the spec would still need to define a clear
"grouping model" (at least for AT to support current and legacy
content), such an element would actually bring near to nothing.

-- 
Thomas Broyer
Received on Sunday, 1 July 2007 21:56:52 UTC

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